The role of local knowledge in the conservation of forest biodiversity in Kilombero district, Tanzania.

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Date
2007
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Publisher
University of Dar es Salaam
Abstract
Local Knowledge (LK) in conservation of forest biodiversity is important in ensuring the efficient and most productive use of forest resources. This study, therefore, addresses the role of LK in conservation of forest biodiversity. It aims at informing contemporary approaches to conservation at national as well as local level. The study was conducted in Kilombero District. The methods used were Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) techniques, Focus Group Discussion and Questionnaires for data collection. Other methods included participant observation and transect walks. Data was analysed using SPSS and MS Excel. The study identified various traditional practices related to the conservation of forest biodiversity. The study also examined local conservation principles and rules that are in current use. The traditional practices identified included: setting aside of some forests for the purpose of ritual activities and burial sites; the protection of specific valuable tree species for medicinal purposes, water catchment and "homes for spirits’; local allocation of land done by elders who know the values well and the different taboos. The local conservation rules and regulations included, the use of homestead trees and retaining some trees on farmland; the use of coppicing trees and multiple stems for pole production; the use of branches and dead trees for firewood; sustainable harvesting of trees and shrubs for medicines; and the control of wildfire that was normally done by elders. These traditional practices played a significant role in the conservation of forest biodiversity. The role of LK in conservation of forest biodiversity is influenced by population pressure, and the dynamics of globalization, industrialization and urbanization. An effective integration of LK in formal conservation programmes is important. The link between LK and forest biodiversity conservation to poverty alleviation through improvement of livelihoods of the rural people needs to be studied in more detail. The failure to address this link, the unsustainable use of forest resources by local communities will continue at the expense of biodiversity.
Description
Available in printed form, East Africana Collection, Dr. Wilbert Chagula Library, Class mark (THS EAF SD414.T34K34)
Keywords
Forest conservation, Kilombero district, Tanzania
Citation
Kalonga, S. K (2007) The role of local knowledge in the conservation of forest biodiversity in Kilombero district, Tanzania. Master dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam. Dar es Salaam.